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A brief word on New Year’s Resolutions

There are two camps when it comes to resolutions, those that like them and those that hate them. I happen to like them. As a goal oriented person, having a specific time of year to look forward and see what I want to accomplish appeals to me. It also helps that I’m not overly bothered if I look back over the past year and discover I didn’t accomplish anything I had set out to do. Sometimes (most times) goals – real, challenging, life altering goals – take more than a year to accomplish anyway. The fact of the matter is, if you don’t create the goals in the first place, you are never going to reach them.

The problem with resolutions is that they are simply something you have declared you are going to do. They are not a plan to get there. It’s the difference between stating a fact and taking an action. For example, last year around this time I had a conversation with my Dad that went a little something like this.

Dad – This year I’m going to lose X pounds.

Me – That’s great Dad. What’s your plan?

Dad – To lose X pounds.

Me – Er…

A goal is a destination. It’s not the road map to get there. You wouldn’t jump in the car and say, “I’m heading to Phoenix!” without at least a few key items such as a map, a credit card, and at the very least your driver’s license. The more tools you have at your disposal the more successful you are going to be at reaching your destination.

No matter what you have determined your goal(s) to be, figure out what tools you need to be successful. You may create more steps by doing so but don’t let that stop you. At times you may even feel like Q-Bert (Remember that game?) but the more steps you tackle, the further you’ll be toward that goal.

In an ideal world that conversation with my Dad would have looked more like this:

Dad – This year I’m going to lose X pounds.

Me – That’s great Dad. What’s your plan?

Dad – I’ve joined a gym and have already scheduled three workouts a week in my calendar. I have a new pair of sneakers and a food journal. I’m going to try for 1 – 2 pounds a week and if I don’t make that weekly goal I will look over what I’ve done and not done and regroup.

Me – Wow!

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